AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2022-06

February 19, 2022 ~ Bow, NH

Good News on Local Voucher Bill   This week we are going to try something new and start with good news.  HB 607 (local school vouchers) which was put on the table during the last legislative session on January 6th remained there with no attempt by House Republicans to try to advance it. Strong turnout from both Democratic and Republican supporters of public education and local property taxpayers prevented pro-voucher forces from taking action. Since HB 607 would need to go to House Finance next, it will take a 2/3rd majority vote of the House to move it forward. HB 607 would have been a huge blow to taxpayers, our students, teachers, and school staff and we want to say thank you again to all those who stood with our public schools.

AFT-NH President Deb Howes' Reaction to Governor’s State of the State Address

“Gov. Sununu slaps himself on the back for his education accomplishments, but he pointedly failed to acknowledge the heroic work of our teachers, paraeducators, and staff who have shown up every day during the pandemic for their students. While trumpeting the statewide voucher program and his mantra of cutting property taxes, the public should know that siphoning money from public schools for unregulated private school vouchers doesn’t help students or families and sends property taxes through the roof.

AFT-NH President Deb Howes Testimony on HB 1683 (repeal of statewide vouchers)

I am here to urge passage of HB1683. Last summer, with no fiscal analysis, opportunity for a public hearing or public comment on the financial impact, supporters of school choice at any cost pushed through (as part of the state budget) a costly and unaccountable state voucher program. Now initial numbers are in, and it’s clearly time to repeal this program before more damage is done.

At the time these state vouchers were proposed, AFT-New Hampshire and other child advocacy groups warned that this program would be one of the most expansive, unaccountable, and potentially costly voucher proposals in the nation. It was clear even then that the voucher program would drain millions every year from our neighborhood public schools, downshift more costs from the state to local taxpayer and hike our property taxes.

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2022-05

February 12, 2022 ~ Bow, NH

Next week the House and Senate will meet in legislative session. The House will meet on Wednesday and Thursday and the Senate on Wednesday. 

Last year, parents and community leaders voiced overwhelming opposition to a massive state-level voucher bill. That bill was slipped into the budget anyway, by proponents of outsourcing and privatization.

For Round Two, those same politicians came back with House Bill 607, a second, massive new voucher bill funded entirely with local property tax dollars.

HB 607 would have devastated funding for neighborhood public schools, bypassed local control to force towns to have votes on local-level vouchers, and inevitably led to property tax hikes.

AFT-NH President Deb Howes' Statement on Repealing Divisive Concepts Bills

Howes: “The Legislature should have the courage to stand up for all Granite Staters and  make a major course correction and repeal the so-called divisive concepts law.”

 CONCORD, N.H.—Statement by AFT-New Hampshire President Deb Howes urging the House to pass HB 1576, which would repeal the so-called divisive concepts law, and HB 1090, which would repeal that law and specifically allow school employees to teach historical or current experiences of any group protected from discrimination:

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2022-04

February 5, 2022 ~ Bow, NH

The Education Committee continued its busy schedule this week-though we were granted a quick reprieve from bills attacking public education because of the snowstorm on Friday. We none-the-less will continue to have busy weeks with the unprecedented amount of bills heard by the House Education Committee this year.